I’m spending my holiday time wisely by watching hours of television. Seeing as I’m writing a television pilot (draft three, with the editor), this seems like a smart move.
Having marathoned the lamentable Space Precinct 2040, I jumped forward in time and across the Pond to the laudable Sports Night.
I am a big fan of The West Wing. I had a blip where Rob Lowe quit and Channel 4 insisted on moving the timeslot around like a yo-yo, but last year, I watched all seven seasons in four months. It was brilliant. But it did suffer a dent when Aaron Sorkin was fired.
Sports Night is a proving ground for The West Wing. Big speechifying, The Walk and Talk, the adorable and nerdy Josh Malina – and a showcase of guest stars who seem pretty familiar. Also, some plots and scenes crop up: big poker night, the dad with the 27 (or was it 28…?) year affair, the insane love of trivia.
(Also, the hatred of cricket. Seriously – come on. It is just not that complicated. Someone slings a ball, someone hits it, they run. There may be a mountain of crazy terminology, but when you get right down to it, it’s really very simple. I may have a minor thing for cricket.)
I’ve got through Season 1 in a week. I have ended up talking/writing just a little bit like the Sorkin, which is an inevitable by-product of watching his work. It’s all really really fast.
I wish I could get away with it. The breath-taking speeches, the fantastic Crowning Moments of Awesome (and the Crowning Moments of Funny, even if the terrible laughter track doesn’t acknowledge it), and the devastating deliveries that the actors deliver like poetry.
I leave you with Josh Malina and a poker game: